Kaleidoscope House

Laurie Simmons, the mother of miniature diorama photography (as further discussed here), known more recently as Lena Dunham’s mom, once had a project called Kaleidoscope House.

The goal of this dolls’ house, that then became a subject of numerous photographs was to modernize dollhouses. This was something that hadn’t apparently been done much at the time. The home was commissioned by Bozart toys, and designed in collaboration with architect Peter Wheelwright. The dolls, accessories and furniture within were also separate artist commissions, with the family being modeled after Simmons’ own (so if you ever wanted a Lena Dunham action figure…).

Laurie Simmons is best known for her voyeuristic, domestic dollhouse scenes and this house fit within that artistic goal quite well. The walls all being see-through leads to a very mysterious voyeuristic feel in her photographic series utilizing the house. The color cast created by the walls is something she also further explored in her 2005 series, ‘The Boxes.’

Kaleidoscope House #4, 2002, Laurie Simmons

This house was made available for purchase on a limited run in 2001 and I’m actually really disappointed I’m just finding this out, as it seems it’s going for $1600 on ebay

To top it all off, you could purchase an art collection for your mini home, complete with little prints from Laurie Simmons herself and her art friends, such as, Cindy Sherman, and Barbara Kruger.

A mini modern house with modern art, made so perfectly for miniature diorama photography (the plexi walls slide open and closed, did I forget to mention that?). What could be better?

Artsy.net even ventures to say this is one of history’s 7 most spectacular dollhouses. You can also read an original article about the Kaleidoscope house here.

Djeco makes various dollhouses currently on the market that remind me a lot of the Kaleidoscope house with their bright colors and modern furniture. That, and they’re much more affordable ($77 – 103). Would you want to own the Kaleidoscope or Djeco houses?

One thought on “Kaleidoscope House

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  1. Frankly no, it I would not like to own it. However, I do appreciate it as an art form and I like the furniture and particularly the Kaleidoscope Kids. My take on miniatures is that I love all the little details and this is too minimalist to appeal to me. I’m more of a traditionalist and like houses that look “real”.

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